Magnetic particle flaw detection is one of the longest established and most commonly used methods of non‐destructive testing. It can often be applied in a relatively quick and simple manner. Because of this, it is frequently treated as the “poor relation” in present day non‐destructive test methods and regarded as a method which can be performed by unskilled labour. While this may sometimes be true in semi‐automatic production line testing there are many applications which require considerable knowledge and experience. The use of magnetic particle flaw detection has increased considerably in the past few years. It is now being recognised as essential to supplement visual examination in many areas of in‐service inspection on all types of plant. This article, to be published in four parts, is directed towards maintenance engineers and inspectors who may wish to use the method themselves or would like to have the basic knowledge to ensure that any such tests requested and performed on their behalf, are carried out correctly.
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